Man arrested after book bag with litter of puppies inside was found outside Griffin church

A Griffin man is facing a charge of cruelty to animals after police said he left a litter of puppies in a zipped book bag in front of a church.

Fortunately, someone found the puppies which ended up a Lamar County canine rescue as did their mother. The canine connection came together after investigators pieced together all evidence of abused animals. Now, the canine mom is back with her litter of nine in what is affectionately being called the “bags to riches” puppy rescue.

“Our girls are Chanel, Vera, and Prada. The boys are Louis, Gucchi, Garavani, Fendi, Dolce and Dior," Patricia Peurifoy with Dolly Goodpuppy Society Inc., a canine rescue in Lamar County told FOX 5 News.

Griffin Police said someone found the nine puppies in a zipped book bag in front of the Salvation Army Worship Community Center in Griffin about twenty miles away.

The police report said the puppies were covered in ants and fleas. It was the afternoon of September 26 when temperatures were near triple digit.

“They would have perished if someone had not spotted them quickly, I mean zipped up in a vinyl bag is what I was told,” said Peurifoy.

The day after Griffin Police connected the nonprofit to the puppies, officers arrived with their still-able-to-nurse mother, now named Evie Rose.

Peurifoy said the family reunion was a sight to see.

“It was very clear that those were her babies, we were tearing up,” said Peurifoy.

Police said EvieRose was found severely malnourished at a home not far from the church which led to the arrest of Lawrence Blankenberg on a charge of animal cruelty.

“I believe it was nine or ten puppies in a bag and dropped them off at a church and abandoning the mother dog at his previous residence,” said Lt. Daniel Jett, with the Griffin Police Department.

Now that EvieRose and Prada, Gucchi, Chanel and the others are together again, it’s the road to recovery from malnourishment, dehydration and other problems. One puppy, Fendi is blind. Peurifoy said this “bags to riches” puppy story could have had a much different ending.

“I’m glad just we could fit them in and do something for the puppies and something for the mom. I’m just glad they were found,” said Peurifoy. She said the puppies should be up for adoption in the next month or so as hopefully EvieRose will be.

According to the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, Blankenberg is out of Jail on a $10,000 bond.

To help the pups, visit